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Maidstone East Edition Maidstone South Edition


October 2017 October 2018


Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper


downsmail.co.uk


FREE No. 246


Crowds throng to say thanks


Panto ahoy!


to humble hop LARGE crowds turned out for the Hops’n’Harvest Beer Festival at Kent Life on September 8 and 9. Local ales, live music and many


other attractions drew people from far and wide to the annual event. Pictured here sorting hop bines are


Frances Maddison-Roberts and Brenda Peal, who are friends of Kent Life.


THE cast of Cinderella, which is to be staged at the Hazlitt Theatre in Maid- stone, took to the River Medway to launch this year's panto. On board The Kentish Lady were national treasure Rustie Lee (Fairy Godmother), former EastEnder Ste- fan Booth (Prince Charming), Eliza- beth Bright (Cinderella), Craig Anderson (Buttons) and, pictured, Stephen Richards and Adam Bor- zone (Ugly Sisters) . They were greeted by pupils from


South Borough Primary School and members of the media. The panto runs from December 1-31. For tick- ets go to www.hazlitttheatre.co.uk.


Pharmacy needs cure for poor performance


PATIENTS have criticised a pharmacy in Maidstone for delays in dis- pensing and poor customer service.


CCTV call in a bid to stop fly-tipping


CALLS for the installation of CCTV cameras to prevent fly-tipping on a country road have been made by the local borough councillor.


Facebook page complaining about slow service at LloydsPharmacy, GroveGreen, triggered the surprise response from more than 100 frus- trated users across southMaidstone and beyond. They cited stressed staff, poor


Burberry Lane, near Leeds and Broomfield, has been targeted by waste dumpers for years, but in re- cent months, the problem has be- come more acute. Constructionwaste, rubble, hard


management, excessive queues, prescription delays and poor col- laboration with GPs – even though the Grove Green pharmacy is just one door away fromthe surgery. Emily Fisher said prescriptions


core, windows and household fur- niture is left illegally – often strewn in the middle of the road. Cllr Gill Fort said: “Every month


were not ready days, or evenweeks after they should be, posting: “I try calling the pharmacy beforehand to check – no answer. “Queues towards the door every


we are having toilets, sinks and construction waste dumped in the village, specifically in Burberry Lane, where we are now thinking of installing cameras on private land, to oversee the problem area.” A recent event in Burberry Lane


saw a caravan burned out while a torched car remains on a footpath


A simple post on Down’s Mail’s


nearby, more than a year after it was dumped and set on fire. The church car park has also seen


many instances of illegal dumping. But it is a problem in many rural


areas including Langley, Otham and Kingswood. Water Lane in Bearsted and Pilgrims Way have also been targeted recently. Last year, Maidstone Borough Council cleared 911 cases of fly-tip- ping and this year more than 163 have been recorded since April. The approaching darker evenings will prompt a rise in illegal tipping. Cllr Fort welcomed a joint initia-


tive by the Environment Agency and the Driver and Vehicle Stan- dards Agency to clamp down on


time I visit ...”,whileCarole Brown- ing added: “I gave up using Grove Green last year. Appalling service, long waits and then you find your script hasn’t been done.” In Allington, Kirsty Hancock


posted: “My repeat prescription is never ready, even if it is several weeks after its due date. “I’m told its staff shortages but


this has been going on formonths.” Charlotte Johnson, who worked


at the pharmacy in Grove Green, blamed poor pay and too fewstaff. She said: “When I worked as a


dispenser Iwas paid less than aMc- Donald’s worker. Budget cuts meant the storewas always under- staffed. The staff work extremely


unlicensed waste carriers, but be- lieves the cost to small firms of dis- posing of construction waste at a transfer station is proving a deter- rent that is costing councils more. Cllr Fort made her remarks as


one of the borough’s closest trans- fer stations at North Farm, Tun- bridge Wells, announced it will be closed for 10weeks. She added: “If you go along the


hard and oftenmiss lunch. “It is head office who need to


wake up and implement better working conditions to ensure a bet- ter experience for customers.” Borough Cllr


MalcolmMcKay (left),


has


line of increasing fines, they have to be enforced. A reduction in the charge or offering it free may have the desired similar effect.” Athree-monthly litter pick on the mile-long stretch of road through Leeds village produces an average 32 black sacks of rubbish.


Cllr Fort, who also serves as a


stopped using the Grove Green pharmacy. He said: “The man- agement need to diagnose


the


cause of the problems and find a long-termcure.” LloydsPharmacy


01622 690290 YOUR LOCAL PROPERTY EXPERT


maidstone@martinco.com 23 Pudding Lane • Maidstone • Kent


parish councillor, says teaching children about social responsibility and the issue of litter in schools will help take the issue off the streets. She believes with every household receiving a weekly refuse collection service, there is no excuse for litter being thrown from vehicles or dumped in the road.


Join for as little as £21 per month.


* FREE PARKING. *FREE CRECHE. Over 60 Group Exercise Classes per week, no joining fees.


was not limited to Grove Green, and therewas concern about the fu- ture of the area’s pharmacies, she said: “A number of LloydsPhar- macy storeswere identified for sale or closure last year, but that pro- gramme has nowbeen completed.” Call the customer service number on 0345 600 3565 - option 2.


Home Alarms supplied and fitted visit www.amiga.co.uk or call 08000 199622 News


Maidstone & Malling’s No. 1 newspaper


FREE No. 258


Kate, 107, diesNews


KATE Hart, a resident at an old people’s home in Bearsted, has died aged 107, her son David has disclosed.


HELEN Whately asked the government to halt the borough’s housing scheme.


MP’s Local Plan bid Gymnasts’ tough life4


THE widow of GP Dr Nigel Minnet will walk the Grand Canyon for charity. 12


Saunders’ fantribute FORMER Maidstne United man- ager Jay Saunders has thanked his supporters after he left the club after seven years. 3


3


Plans for Dr Nigel 6 Medway mink secrets


COURTNEY Tulloch and James Hall reveal the harsh reali- ties behind their success.


Jason Donovan date


THE former Neighbours star brings his show to the Hazlitt Theatre next May.


NATURE lovers have been spot- ting mink along the banks of the Medway.


10


Rail station make-over 14


18


A £2.5m make-over of Maidstone East rail station is to begin soon.


M20 bridge work delay 20


Obituaries


ASH dieback has been discovered in Monks Meadow in Detling; Hollingbourne village fete stall- holder co-ordinator Jean Duffy has resigned; yellow lines are needed for Buffkyn Way, Otham, to allow buses through Imperial Park; rub- bish bins in the sports field in Kingswoodare to be moved over to the picnic area and rear exit.


Obituaries


adding that the manager at Grove Greenwas on holiday. However,when told the problem


Parish Councils 34-35 WWII bomb in river


A RECENTLY retired vicar has criti- cised the borough coun- cil’s house-building plans.


Vicar criticises council 32


22


A WORLD War Two bomb has been found in the Medway by “magnet” fishermen.


22 36


apologised,Crime Reports 35 Crime Reports 37


VEHICLES have been driven over farmland in Lenham, causing damge to crops; an attempted break-in was reported in Detling; a vehicle was vandalised in Bearsted Rd, Weavering; pumpkins were stolen from an allotment in Lenham.


Comment 46-47 Comment 46-47


Find us on


Maidstone YMCA, Melrose Close, Loose, Maidstone ME15 6BD 01622 749404


www.maidstoneymca.org.uk Charity Number: 1110087


A VEHICLE parked in Buckland Road was broken into and a com- puter game stolen; intruders fled empty-handed when confronted in Vicary Way; pink paint was thrown over the door of a house in Lower Stone Street; a bicycle was stolen from the communal area of a block of flats in Holland Road; a water fea- ture was stolen from Cades Place.


THE M20 footbridge destroyed two years ago will not be replaced until 2019.


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